EU advisor says Iran uses shell companies to develop oil fields

Iran Materials 26 December 2011 17:57 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 26 / Trend D.Khatinoglu /

Iran is trying to create shell companies with foreign companies to sign oil contracts, Mehrdad Emadi, the economic advisor of the European Union told Trend.

Emadi said via telephone conversation from London that some foreign companies have created the shell companies with National Iran Oil Company or Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps' Khatamul-Anbia headquarters to avoid from the consequences of investment in Iran.

A shell company is a company that exists but does not actually do any business or have any assets.

Iran has announced last week about signing an oil contract with Tatneft Iran Oil Company Kish and its plans to sign three more oil contracts with Ukraine's Gazprom Pars Company.

Emadi, however, urges these companies do not exist in reality. "We found some information about those shell companies in July 2010," he said.

"These common shell companies which are only nominal signs contracts with Iran, then the foreign companies are attracted to the contract via subcontracts as only contractor, not investor. Namely, the investor company is that shell company without any sizable assets or objects," Emadi said.

EU and the U.S. both banned more than $10 million investment in Iran's oil-gas projects and worried international companies of investing in Iran's oil-gas sectors saying that they may face sanctions.

EU and Departments of the Treasury of United Kingdom and United States are seeking legal ways to punish the companies that create shell companies with Iran since last September.

Iran says its oil and gas projects need $168 billion investment until 2015.

Iran announced on Sunday about signing three oil contracts woth nearly $1 billion in total with Ukraine's Gazprom Pars Company to develop the Kuh-moond, Boushgan and Kuh Kaki heavy oil fields, Mehr reported.

Last week reports said Iran and Tatneft Iran Oil Company Kishn signed a $1 billion contract to develop the Zaghe heavy oil field.